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With globalisation and rapid technological advancement, business cycles are short and disruptions take place. Businesses that face difficulties may scale down or shut down. When this happens, jobs will be lost. This loss of jobs has nothing to do with Free Trade Agreements in general, or CECA in particular.

CECA does not take away jobs. On the contrary, it has the potential to create new jobs. The provision for free flow of natural persons in Chap 9 is for a temporary purpose to facilitate the movement of people who wish to travel to do business. More business start-ups means more jobs.

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The Online Citizen

The Online Citizen has it coming anyway after it told IMDA that it did not intend to comply with the Broadcasting Act. The IMDA has suspended its class licence from 14 September. TOC had tried to negotiate with IMDA, offering to provide the 'necessary declaration' on condition that IMDA gives assurance that it would not seek further clarifications regarding its subscription framework and its funding sources. 

This, of course, was rejected by the IMDA which said that full transparency is a requirement by law and not a matter for  negotiation. 

With the suspension, it means that TOC would have to stop posting any more articles on its websites and its social media channels and accounts such as its Facebook and Twitter pages. TOC will have to disable them by 3 pm on 16 September 2021. It is also not allowed to operate any new licensable broadcasting services online.

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Why so shy, TOC? Why the refusal to be transparent with funding sources? The Online Citizen

The Online Citizen's refusal to be transparent on funding raises questions on its funding sources and called into question its independence.

The threat of foreign interference in our domestic politics has always been present and real. Mr Lee Kuan Yew once told an American audience when he was in America that Singapore's domestic debate is a matter for Singaporeans only. This is why there is Broadcasting Act that requires those who engaged in the promotion or discussion of political issues relating to Singapore are required to be transparent about their sources of funding. This is to ensure that such sites do not come under the control or influence of foreign entities. It ensures that there is no foreign influence in domestic politics.

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Singapore’s unique system to improve wage growth is superior to the Minimum Wage system

Singapore's approach to raising wages for the low wage worker is a holistic one that is superior to the Minimum Wage system. The PWM is customised to the unique needs of each sector and provides not just a wage floor but also a wage escalator for the worker. Together with Workfare Income Supplement, Workfare Skills Support Scheme for the worker, Wage Credit Scheme for the employer and the Inclusive Growth Programme, this holistic approach has many advantages without the downsides of a minimum wage system.

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Patrick has been speaking up for PMEs over the past decade. He has previously called for fair hiring practices to be enhanced by imposing stiffer penalties for errant companies with discriminatory hiring practices. He asked for “more teeth and bite” to be given to the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP). The good news for him is that the government has decided to adopt his suggestions.

Second, MP Patrick proposed enhancing the EP application review process. This includes moving beyond looking at the individual applicant’s educational qualification and salary. He added that close watch should be paid to sectors with a particular imbalance. PM Lee said the Government will continue to tighten the criteria for EP and S Passes over time. This will be done gradually so as to give companies time to react and not hurt their operations.

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Workfare Income Supplement benefits consumers through lowering of costs

Workfare Income Supplement costs the government $850 million a year and benefits half a million Singaporeans including persons with disabilities and the self-employed.

Since its introduced in 2007, a total of $7.8 billion has been paid out to some 930,000 people and low income households in the 20th percentile have seen their real income grew cumulatively by 40% through Workfare Income Supplement.

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